A little about us
Back in the year 1953, John and Brita Haycraft, a young married couple who had a passion for language teaching, fell in love with the beauty, customs and people of Cordoba and decided to set up a language school in this picturesque city. It was the first language school in town and remains, to this day, one of the longest-standing language schools in Spain.
From these humble origins, with barely 16 students learning English in a small room in the boarding house where the Haycrafts were staying, the school began to prosper, thanks to their hard work, kind-heartedness and expertise, and by the end of the year, Academia Británica had five classrooms and a staff of five teachers.
In the mid-1950s, their contacts and friendship with British academics led to a number of lecturers from Oxford and other prestigious universities visiting Cordoba and deciding to stay here to teach English. This was how ‘Academia Británica – International House’ was founded, the first of a string of other top language schools which now form part of the International House World Organisation.
By the spring of 1954, the first exchange trips were launched for foreign students, who came to Córdoba to learn Spanish and immerse themselves in our customs and culture. This was how Academia Hispánica was founded, our school specializing in teaching Spanish to foreigners.
A new stage of growth, awards and alliances
In 1959, the school passed into the hands of the Cremades family, under whose management it continues to this day. Our first director, Eulogio Cremades, continued the founders’ legacy with a clear vision of transforming the project into a large company, and keeping it in the vanguard of language teaching.
Parallel to this consolidation of Academia Británica in Córdoba, John and Brita Haycraft, who had moved to London and set up the headquarters of International House there, laid down the blueprint for the language teaching methodology to be used in our schools, the specialised training needed by the teachers, as well as the values we assume in our dealings with both students and our staff (set down in our ‘Student Charter’ and ‘Staff Charter’).
1968 was another key year for the school, when Academia Británica was first launched in the city of Huelva, and it immediately made a significant impression on the academic and professional life of the city. Since then, thousands of students from Huelva of all ages have been taught in our classrooms, and many of them, now mothers, fathers or grandparents, sign up their children or grandchildren at the same school they went to, to learn languages as efficiently as they did in their day.
In 1970, after years of intense work, the Ministry of Information and Tourism honoured the director, Mr. Eulogio Cremades López, on behalf of Academia Británica, with the Medal for Tourist Merit, for contributing to the expansion and knowledge of our language and culture.
In 1980, our director founded and was the first chairman of the Association of Language Schools of Andalusia (ACEIA), and founded, and acted as vice president for, the Spanish Federation of Language Schools (FECEI). Since then, these associations have ensured the quality of teaching, the legality of the companies in this sector and the rights of students.
In 1981, the first of our schools in Madrid was launched, in association with other IH schools in Spain. Currently, IH Madrid has schools in Paseo de la Castellana, Diego de León, Alonso Martínez and Ciudad Universitaria.
In 1984, Academia Británica was named an official Cambridge Assessment English examining centre, a partnership which we have maintained for 36 years.
In 2013, Academia Británica was appointed by the Cervantes Institute as an accredited centre for teaching Spanish.
In 2015, Academia Británica was one of the founding schools of the Association of Examining Centres of Spain.
In 2019, Academia Británica in Córdoba, was recognized as a pioneer in language teaching in Spain, and was awarded the FECEI Award for its business career under the section ‘Inventors of the Sector’.
In the year 2020, our second school was launched in the province of Huelva, in the town of Trigueros.